SANDWICH, England (July 16, 2011) -- It looks like the race for the Silver Medal, which is awarded to the leading amateur at The Open Champions, could go all the way.
During the third round, 22 year-old Englishman, Tom Lewis, carded a 76 to go into the final round on 215 and just two shots ahead of his only rival, Peter Uihlein, the 21 year-old American Amateur champion.
Uihlein, who started the day three shots behind Lewis, posted a 75 in the worst of the weather and looks a real threat to Lewis’ hopes of winning the Silver Medal, won in 2009 by Italy’s Matteo Manassero and last year by Korean, Jin Jeong.
Back on the first day, when Lewis shared the lead with Thomas Bjorn after a stunning 65 and Uihlein posted a 71, the Englishman looked the clear favourite to land the Silver Medal. However, a swing of three shots on Friday, plus another one today, means that they will both have all to play for come the final day.
Uihlein, the son of Titleist FootJoy chairman and CEO, Wally Uihlein, went out at 10.05 this morning and coped admirably with the treacherous conditions. He dropped three shots to par over the first six holes but then birdied both the ninth and 10th before carding consecutive bogeys on the 13th and 14th and dropping two further shots on the last.
Lewis, who last winter won the amateur medal at the Australian Open, where he finished tied 12th behind Geoff Ogilvy, started shakily, carding five bogeys in an opening half of 40. He continued to lose ground with a further bogey on the 15th before collecting his first birdie of the round on the 426-yard par-4 17th.
However, like his American rival, he failed to par the 489-yard closing hole, setting up an exciting finish tomorrow.